Picture being able to toss a set of hearing aids in your shopping cart alongside a dozen eggs, a carton of milk, and a loaf of bread. It’s true: hearing aids are now available over the counter from many major retailers! This is excellent news for anyone who has faced hurdles and excessive prices to get these essential devices, but there is some important information to know before acquiring your next pair of hearing aids.
Exactly How Much Do Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids Cost?
In comparison to the $2,000 – $8,000+ price tag on prescription hearing aids, the OTC type can be obtained for as low as $199. Price depends, however, on the model and features selected, and may be much higher.
Who Can Use OTC Hearing Aids?
Tens of millions of people can benefit from these hearing aids, which are designed primarily for adults struggling with mild to moderate hearing loss. If you answer “yes” to the following three questions, over-the-counter hearing aids may be right for you:
- Are you able to hear with ease in a one-on-one conversation in a quiet setting?
- Would you only need a hearing aid in certain overwhelming conditions, as opposed to most or all of the time
- Are you able to hear the television or phone better just by slightly turning up the volume?
With over-the-counter hearing aids, consumers are responsible for setting up the device, including fitting and tuning the sound.
Do I Need to Visit an Audiologist Before Purchasing OTC Hearing Aids?
The straightforward answer is “no,” but it isn’t quite that simple. There are basic hearing tests that can be taken online or through an app on your phone, and because the aids don’t need a prescription, technically, there is no requirement to see the audiologist to be able to buy and use them. But an audiologist continues to be an extremely important part of the hearing loss equation. They are able to perform a hearing test, diagnose the degree and type of hearing loss, and recommend an optimal style of hearing aid to achieve the most benefit. Most insurance providers as well as Medicare cover the cost for hearing tests, but prescription hearing aids usually are not covered. An audiologist also can pick up on other ear issues that need medical help and recommend steps to take to maintain healthy hearing.
With over 37 million adults in America living with some degree of hearing loss, and only 25% of them currently using a hearing aid, over-the-counter hearing aids are slated to bring relief to many people, at a cost that’s more palatable.
If a person you love is dealing with hearing loss, let an expert from Abby Senior Care, a trusted provider of in-home care in Denver, CO and the surrounding areas, help. We are readily available with a complete range of customized in-home support services to help seniors continue to live on their own in the homes they love. Give us a call at 303-699-8840 for additional information!